‘I love Hong Kong – there’s something magical about the Far East’: Chelsea pensioner and BGT winner Colin Thackery recalls his travel adventures
Chelsea pensioner and Britain’s Got Talent winner Colin Thackery
Chelsea pensioner and Britain’s Got Talent winner Colin Thackery recalls his fondest travel memories.
The 89-year-old reveals where he went on his first foreign trip, why he loves Hong Kong and describes the trip of a lifetime he had with his late wife, Joan.
EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?
A day trip to Southend-on-Sea aged nine in 1939 with my aunt and uncle. I stuffed myself with fish and chips and cockles.
FIRST FOREIGN TRIP?
I joined the Army at 15 on ‘boy service’ and, two years later, headed to the Far East on a troopship with the Royal Artillery Band. I played to our troops wherever they were stationed, be it Malaya or Singapore.
Our first stop was Hong Kong [then British], which our boat took a month to reach. I’ve loved Hong Kong ever since: there’s something magical about the Far East and it’s such a different way of life.
GO ELSEWHERE WITH THE ARMY?
Everywhere from Korea — I saw service in the Korean War — to Gibraltar, Malta and Germany. I really did get to see the world during my 25 years with the forces.
Colin said he went to Hong Kong with the Royal Artillery Band as a teenager and he’s ‘loved’ the city ever since
TRIP OF A LIFETIME?
My wonderful wife, Joan, who passed away in 2016, and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with a holiday in Canada and the States.
ANYWHERE SPECIAL STILL TO GO?
I would have loved to take Joan to the French Riviera on one of those fancy trains. We would have checked into a luxury hotel with a sea view and had the time of our lives.
- Colin’s debut album, Love Changes Everything, and memoir, My Story: How Love Changed Everything, are out now. His 90th birthday concert is on March 9 at London’s Cadogan Hall (cadoganhall.com).